Every 7 Years

Everyone you know will live for forever.

They will grow up.
They will fall in love.
They will live a full and happy life.

No one you love will ever die.

This was a fact right up until you proved me wrong.

We all have titles that we carry.
Ones that declare what we are to our loved one.
Son. Brother. Uncle.
I was always grateful to declare you as a true friend.

One title we never expected for you: dead on the scene.

And those words shot through me. Brunt a hole in my chest.
Singed edges smoulder to this day
The shards of a shattered reality stop my heart from caving in

I never thought that the next time I saw you that you would be a box
Two feet wide and about a foot deep.
An entire life framed in pressure treated wood with a pristine glossy finish.

I wouldn’t have known it was you without your favourite things.
Posed in a shrine.
Your video games, your anime. The things that made you intrinsically you.
My insides twist at the memory of seeing your headphones.
Once framing your joyful face,
Now hang lifeless from the handle of a collectible sword.

Reduced to nothing but an artifact.

All I can do is stand as a pillar. Holding myself up from the ground.
Trying not to feel the weight of gravity.
I try so hard but, my thoughts trail back to memories

Like the time I asked what you wanted and you simply said “nothing,”
You walked away.
I should have taken your nothing then and moulded it into something.
I would have given you a handcrafted pot, filled with all the things I’ll never get to say.

The apologies—for yelling at you. For that time I sent you home with a black eye.

The laughs—Like the time you tried to pay the cab driver with your house keys.

The pot would be over following with love, my friend.
The love I always had but neglected to push past my lips.
When you were still here to hear it.

They say grieving is what happens before acceptance.
Before coming to grips with reality.

I say grieving is the moment you exit from a dark movie theatre.
When you step into the harsh fluorescent lights of the lobby and realize
you’re expected to return to the world as an unchanged person.

Every seven years every cell in your body regenerates.
In essence, every seven years we become a new person.
Next year I will be someone who has never hugged you.
I will be someone who has never seen your smile.
Someone who has never laughed with you and shared your light.
Next year I will be someone who has never looked into your eyes and seen our youth reflected back at me.

By next year you would have been someone who is still alive.

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